Entrepreneurship Explained – Fancy Business Words

Angel round, Seed stage. Series A. If you thought these words had anything to do with heaven, planting, or Italian soccer players you might find this article useful.

There are many entrepreneurs all over the world who operate inside and outside of the formal economy without knowledge of all of the jargon around business and entrepreneurship – and they do just fine. This post is for those who want to equip themselves with the proper terminology before that next meetup event or business meeting or just to sound fancy at dinner:

Accelerator – startup development programme usually shorter in duration than an incubator. Accelerators may invest in the participating businesses in return for equity (part ownership)

Angel Investor– also known as a business angel or informal investor, is a wealthy individual who provides capital for a business startup, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity

Bootstrapping – starting your business with your own money, without any financial help

Bottom Line – how much money you’ve earned or lost at the end of the month

Business Plan – a thorough document outlining your business’ concept, strategy and objectives. Business plans usually discuss the market in which you wish to enter, the potential costs and risks

Business Incubator – a programme aimed at helping start-ups grow. Incubators usually give startups access to things such as a workspace, mentorship, resources and access to investors

B2B – Business to Business, a business that sells products or services to other businesses rather than individual people (consumers)

B2B2C – Business to Business to Customer, a business that is a combination of both business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C). Using e-commerce as an example a B2B2C strategy could involve getting into a partnership with B2B vendors to sell products to customers through your e-commerce platform.

B2C – Business to Consumer, a business that sells products or services to consumers, individual people

Capital – money in your accounts (including assets and invested money)

Churn – churn rate is used to measure the percentage of customers or employees a business has lost over a particular period of time

Digitalization – using digital technologies and data to add value to a business model, increase revenue and increase opportunities

Early-Stage – the business is still in development, and if it is making money, a small amount.

Elevator Pitch – a short and direct 30-60 second presentation outlining your business model, concept and value proposition. While these are usually for investors it is always good to have your elevator pitch down to be able to present your business to anyone.

Ideation Stage – when you have an idea or concept for a business but few steps have been taken to start

Low Hanging Fruit – a business target that is easy to reach or a problem that is easy to solve

MVP – Minimum Viable Product, proof of concept, the simplest version of your product or service that consumers can interact with. Ex. a simple website, a prototype

Monetize – to make money (revenue). Your business has monetized once you start having paying customers

Omnichannel – a marketing approach using multiple methods of customer engagement ex. How do you engage with your bank? Do you go to the branch? Do you use their app? Bank online? Call an agent? The bank’s omnichannel approach gives you these options

Outsourcing – hiring someone not in your company to handle certain job functions ex. Hiring someone to handle your accounting or social media accounts

Pitch Deck – a relatively short presentation outlining your business plan, your vision and current and projected traction

Pivot – a shift in your business model ex. You go from buying and selling phones to buying and selling laptops because you believe it will be more profitable.

Runway – the amount of time your business has before it runs out of funding

Scaling – growing or expanding your business

Seed Stage – the stage after ideation but before early-stage where you develop your product/service

Serial Entrepreneurship – when you’ve created and run a few businesses

Series A – when your business is large enough to attract its first round of venture capital (firms that invest other people’s money) funding

SME – Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. In South Africa this is defined by a business with less than 200 employees and with annual turnover of less than R64 million.

Startup – a small but growing business at any stage from seed stage to growth stage

Value Proposition – the value that you add to the market. What you offer that makes people want to come to your business?


We will be publishing more helpful articles in our Entrepreneurship Explained series in the Hooros Information Desk so keep watch!

We are interested in finding out more about you!

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